Loss, Sorrow, & Celebration

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Today we are celebrating my eldest daughters 8th birthday.  But, I became a mother well before I held our little girl in my arms. Today I want to share the story of the child we never met, how I survived the fear and uncertainty following the loss and our beautiful daughter who was well worth the wait.

Patience has never been my strong suit and I have always wanted to be a mom.  So when my husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary, I initiated a serious conversation about having children.

Although my husband was open to the idea, he definitely wasn’t in a hurry.  I will never forget the way I felt inside as I was telling him all of the reasons why I felt it was time to start our family.

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127:3-5

My heart was so full, it felt like it was about to burst.  I looked him straight in the eye and told him it wasn’t right to keep all of that love for ourselves.  God blessed us with a strong marriage and the means to have a family; we just had to try!

My husband is a kind and generous soul, and he sportively embraced my plan to begin trying for a baby.  A month later we were pregnant.

I knew that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, so I immediately quit my professional golfing career and began preparing for our little one to arrive.  Like I said, I have never been one to take my time.

Today I want to share the story of the child we never met, how I survived the fear and uncertainty following the loss and our beautiful daughter who was well worth the wait.

I could not wait to share our exciting news with my parents, and they were thrilled at the prospect of a grandchild.  Not too long after that, we shared our joy with extended family and friends.

With great expectation, I went to the doctor’s office for my very first ultrasound at 12 weeks.  I hadn’t been feeling well, but I figured that was a good sign.  I was all alone and I will never forget the look on the technician’s face before she excused herself to fetch the doctor.

Something wasn’t right. I began to panic.  This was not happening, not to me!  The doctor told me the baby had died weeks earlier if there ever had been a baby.  The doctor explained an anembryonic pregnancy to me, how sometimes fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall, but the embryo does not develop.  She told me it was likely that there never was a baby.

I did not cry until I reached the parking lot and had to call my husband.  I cried once.  Then I got busy and told myself there was no baby to mourn anyway.

What a lie!?!  I knew it was a lie, but somehow it was easier to believe a lie than deal with the truth.  It took two weeks, but finally my husband go through to me and the tears came in violent waves.  I had lost my precious baby.

Today I want to share the story of the child we never met, how I survived the fear and uncertainty following the loss and our beautiful daughter who was well worth the wait.

My Precious Child,

I write this letter to you on what could have been your birthdate if the Lord hadn’t taken you home to be with Him.  I know that you are going to be well taken care of up there in heaven with your Savior, but oh how I long to know you & to teach you myself.  

Your daddy and I were so very excited when we found out you were on the way.

I was so excited that you were going to be a spring baby, excited to introduce  you to the world of sunshine, flowers, and ladybugs.  It was wonderful to share the news of you with our closest friends and family, oh how much you would have been loved and cherished if the Lord would have allowed you even moments on this earth.  

No matter how much I wanted things to be different, I trust that God has huge plans for you in heaven and there was a very good reason that He chose to take you away from us.  And I believe, when we meet one day in heaven, all will finally make sense to me.  

But for now, I want you to know how much you are loved, how badly you are missed and how thankful we are for you & for the fact that God sent you to us when He did.  We are hoping to have many brothers and sisters for you to meet one day, and we were believing that one day our whole family will be together forever.  

Please ask Jesus to pray  for mommy and daddy, as we are missing you very badly.  Ask him to comfort us and fill our hearts with peace.

Mom

Today I want to share the story of the child we never met, how I survived the fear and uncertainty following the loss and our beautiful daughter who was well worth the wait.

Thanks to my faith, I knew I would meet our child in heaven someday and found great comfort in that.  I was sick for months following the miscarriage, so we didn’t start trying for another child until about 4 months later.

It wasn’t so easy to get pregnant the second time.  As the months passed, I began to wonder if I would ever give birth to my own child.  After a year of trying, we began to see a fertility doctor and considered foster parenting.  That was the most challenging year of my life, and I will never forget the lessons I learned.

I learned that fertility is a gift, children are a gift, and my ability to have either is far beyond my control.  I learned that what I do does not define who I am and I learned to live with uncertainty.  I am grateful for the loss that taught me that I am stronger than I thought I would ever have to be.

The week before we were to begin taking the foster parenting classes, we discovered we were pregnant again.  It was a scary season, but when we heard a strong heartbeat at our 8-week appointment we began to believe that this time would be different.

“He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother. Praise the LORD!” Psalm 113:9

Today I want to share the story of the child we never met, how I survived the fear and uncertainty following the loss and our beautiful daughter who was well worth the wait.

I was so ready for that baby to arrive and arrive she did!  She came weeks early and not a minute too soon.  She was perfectly perfect and well worth the wait.  Although I will always love the baby we never knew, I no longer dwell on the loss.  I am grateful that the Lord saw fit to fill that empty space in my heart with our beautiful, blue-eyed daughter.

She has grown into such a treasure.  She is tender and gentle and kind.  Just like her father.

She loves me, her mother, in a way that only she can.  She constantly reminds me that she needs my love in return, and I am so grateful that God saw fit to give her to me in His perfect timing.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

The only way loss makes us stronger is when we give our pain to Jesus.  It has been nearly a decade since we lost our first baby, and I will never be the same as I was before.  But I did survive and the pain and sorrow that nearly destroyed me has lifted.

Today I want to share the story of the child we never met, how I survived the fear and uncertainty following the loss and our beautiful daughter who was well worth the wait.

I loved and lost and now I live fully because God has restored me.  The child I longed for now fills my days with joy and celebration.  And one day, I will meet the baby we lost in heaven and our family will be complete.

But today we will celebrate the gift of life and the 8 years we have had with our daughter.  We are blessed beyond words.

How has loss made you stronger?

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This article has been shared at my favorite Faith & Family Linkups.

P.S. I have many friends who have experienced multiple miscarriages or complete infertility.  I know that my story can’t even touch the surface of the pain these beautiful women have walked through.  But, I have experienced enough to know how lonely it can be, and I pray that sharing my story will help people who have never walked this path better understand the daily struggle that accompanies this type of loss.

Sarah Koontz

About Sarah Koontz

 
Sarah Koontz invites Christians of all ages to explore the beauty of God’s design. She is a passionate storyteller who enjoys using illustrations to communicate deep spiritual truths. Sarah lives on 13-acres in South Dakota with her husband, two daughters and a rowdy flock of 30 chickens. She revels in their simple, uncluttered life.

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Read Sarah’s full Bio Here.

21 thoughts on “Loss, Sorrow, & Celebration

  1. Thank you for sharing your story, I think it’s so important for anyone who has dealt with loss, infertility, miscarriage, or failed adoption to share their stories so we can all feel a little less alone. It’s a cruel world when all you want is to be a parent but your body doesn’t cooperate. I love reading the stories that have a happy ending.

    1. Nicole – You are one of the brave women I was thinking of when I wrote the PS to this article. Although I had to wait for her, my daughter was like balm to my soul and she helped me to heal. It would have been so much more difficult without her. I also know that God has a beautifully unique plan for each and every one of us, and all of our happy endings look different from the outside (because it is what’s inside that matters). Thank you for sharing your story through your blog and helping me find the courage to do the same. Hugs to you!

  2. My first child was also to be a spring baby, but we lost her early on as well. In-between 4 live births I lost 4 more children early in pregnancy.

    The pain of infant loss is indescribable but the lessons learned in those chaotic, confusing and sorrowful years are invaluable. Thank you for sharing your story. It will minister to many.

    And please don’t discount your pain as not being as great as those who lost more children. The loss of your little one is valid and worthy of grieving just as much as my multiple losses are. Sharing this as your #livefree Thursday neighbor. Blessings!

    1. Julie, thank you for sharing your story with me. I cannot imagine so much loss and so much joy all mingled up into one family, but you are right that God teaches us so much in the valley. I don’t discount my own pain, but I acknowledge that my pain and grief was followed by joy when I gave birth to my healthy girls. Some people are not so fortunate, and I never want to discount their pain, or fail to acknowledge how different it is from my own.

  3. Sarah, what a tender and beautiful post. I know it will be a comfort to those who have experienced a similar loss. When I was pregnant I was amazed how attached you become to your child before you see her. A child is truly a gift and a miracle.

    1. God is gracious in both loss and joy. The thing I cannot imagine is weathering the storms of life without His constant love and strength! Thank you for joining the conversation on my blog today.

  4. Oh Sarah, Thank you for sharing your heart on these pages. What an ache. And yet…what a joyful reunion awaits. God IS the creator of life and yet it’s hard to grasp until you walk through a journey like this. We did and I so get it. I’m grateful your prayers for family were answered in the way they were! God is good indeed!

    1. Yes, He is sovereign and the author of it all! It is much easier to share my story now that I am a mother, but that season of loss left me forever marked. It also changed the way I view motherhood in general. I have a deep appreciation for the gifts the Lord has given me in my two children and recognized right from the beginning that they were His not Mine! Blessings to you, sister and dear friend!

  5. “The only way loss makes us stronger is when we give our pain to Jesus.” Goodness, YES! I’m so sorry for your loss. Two precious jewels await me in heaven one day, lost early in pregnancy as well. A dear friend recently gave birth at 39 weeks to her son Judah, who was born sleeping. Loss is so very difficult to endure; death so hard to understand. But in HIM, we have LIFE! We have HOPE! I’m so grateful that I can lay my pain down at His feet and continue to breathe when it feels so hard. Blessings and prayers for you, sweet girl! #livefreeThursday

    1. It is difficult to imagine what this type of loss feels like to a person who does not have the Hope that is ours through Jesus. Such deep pain without hope would almost destroy a person. I am sorry for your losses and for your friend’s, but grateful to know that I am not alone. God is faithful in spite of it all, and no matter how difficult that season was….I survived and am stronger because I walked through it. Thank you for your words of support and encouragement, they are such a blessing.

  6. “The only way loss makes us stronger is when we give our pain to Jesus.” Amen to this Sarah!
    I never really thought I wanted to be a mom until I married my husband and then I could hardly wait! Wait and wait we did. Finally seeing a specialist who said I was so full of scar tissue from prior abuse that I would never be able to conceive naturally. Dreams died right there but God is faithful. My church family laid hands on me and believed with me. His timing was perfect and every time I see my first born adult son I’m reminded of His faithfulness.
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. Sarah, losing a baby at an stage in the pregnancy is so painful. I had 2 miscarriages, but the 2nd one really threw me for a loop because I knew I wouldn’t get pregnant again. What a reminder to bear up our sisters in prayer who deal with loss and the pain of infertility. Thank you for sharing, Sarah!

    1. Yes! It is so important that we support one another in this area. It is often a quiet pain and sometimes even a secret grief, but when we are bold to share our stories….God reaches into broken hearts and begins the healing process. Nothing has gone as I had planned with my family, but it has all become exactly what I needed. God has a beautifully woven plan for our lives and He lovingly cares for us in the valleys just as He rejoices with us on the mountaintops. Thank you for sharing your story with me today.

  8. As a miscarriage survivor, this touched my heart. I think many people don’t understand the impact a miscarriage has on a woman. I really can’t think of the right words that describe this unique type of loss. Thank you for sharing. Joining you from #livefreeThursday

    1. It has become easier to talk about as the years have passed. I know how lonely I felt at the time, and that is why I decided to share my story on the blog. Just in case there is one person out there who feels alone and wonders how they are going to get through. It is tough to communicate the depth of loss that women experience with a miscarriage, it is something like the death of a dream.

  9. I always thought I would have children when I was good and ready…basically that I would decide. When it came time that my husband and I felt we were ready to conceive…it was illusive. I never have been able to conceive and the words I have heard from doctors never have included “Don’t worry you have plenty of time” or “Here is how we can help”. I am completely infertile and when I first realized the depth of that statement I was angry. It did not seem fair that some women got pregnant so easily and then tossed their precious ones out like garbage or had medical procedures to rid themselves if the unwanted “tissue”. I wondered for a long time what my husband and I had done to deserve this. And it did not help that so many family members simply thought we were not trying hard enough or were just not willing to have children…that we were selfish and did not want the responsibility. Nothing could have been further from the truth. We considered adoption, however, due to multiple moves and job changes with my husband’s career, the pieces never fell into place for that. Now, I can say that I am at peace with what I have been dealt, yet part of me still yearns to mother. I would say it is a large reason why my “furbabies” are so completely spoiled. ( :

    1. Thank you for taking the time to share your story with me, Ammie. I am sorry to know about your struggles, and my heart breaks at the thought of the suffering you have experienced. Infertility is a very real and intense pain, that I know for sure, although my season was brief it was one of the most challenging of my life. I’m so happy you have furbabies. I have an aunt who treats her furbabies like her children and I’ve never known a happier mama. Blessings to you!

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